In 1994 St John Paul II celebrated the inaugural World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Rome. Since then, such gatherings have become a regular feature in the life of the Church held in different cities. The purpose of the WMOF is to celebrate God’s plan for marriage and family life and to allow precipitants to join in prayer, catechesis and testimony. The climax of these celebrations has been a Mass with the Pope, the last one taking place in Dublin in 2018.
Pope Francis has called the next World Meeting of Families to take place in Rome June 26-29 with the theme “Family Love: a Vocation and Pathway to Holiness.’ This year a smaller scale gathering will be held in Rome with its own program, while at the same time local Churches are being encouraged to make the family the centre of pastoral attention that week culminating in the Sunday Mass on June 26.
The Roman Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life has already produced resources for this week which can be found here romefamily2022.com. In the coming weeks we will forward some resources that can be used in parishes to assist in celebrating the WMOF at the local level; both new initiatives where possible and including this focus on the family in activities already planned. Among the initiatives that can be considered are:
Possible ways we can prepare in May for the WMOF week in our parishes:
- Family rosary both at home and in the parish church
- Blessing of engaged couples and those celebrating anniversaries
Suggested ways we celebrate WMOF week:
- Holy Hour for couples and families
- Pray for families at Masses in the General Intercessions
- Encourage families to participate in a Corpus Christi procession on June 19
- Encourage families to attend Mass together on Sunday 26 June and follow the Pope’s message that day
In addition, a specially prepared Family Rosary book is available for order, from https://marriagefamilylife.org/books/